Pet Rats/sick rat?


I have a liter of rats, they are about 9 to 10 weeks old, the males are separate from the girls, I am not sure what is wrong with one of my girls, she is lethargic, rapid breathing, her nose is damp, and appears that she may be dehydrated, I try to give her water but she acts as if she cant sallow she does open her eyes, and twitch her whiskers, and she lifts her tail occasionally but she is unable to stand, she lays on her side.

Hi Chris, this sounds quite serious.  Are you a breeder?  Was this little girl the runt of the litter?  Did she seem like she wasn't getting enough milk from her mama due to bigger stronger babies getting first dibs?  Did the mama take care of this one like she did the others or perhaps less?  She may not be healthy in general if she was the runt, or born with a defect.  I can't conclude anything for sure.

Is she the only one appearing ill?  It's also possible she has a respiratory infection which is common in rats, but she is awfully young to be so ill especially if the others are in good health.

Regardless of the cause, you really shouldn't hesitate another moment in taking her to a vet.  If she does have an infection, antibiotics are likely to help her.  She may not make it otherwise.

Please let me know how she's doing now...I pray she pulls through, poor baby.

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Irene Murphy


I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.


I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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